Earthquake Case Study: Kobe, Japan
Early in the morning of 17th January
1995, the Japanese city of Kobe was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude
of 6.9. The centre of the city was worst hit, around the main docks and port
Print out and read the account
of what happened and then read this article about why
some earthquakes are more dangerous than others. Now answer the following questions.
Another Earthquake : San
- Why is Kobe in a dangerous area
and prone to earthquakes?
- Why are areas of soft ground,
especially reclaimed land, so vulnerable during earthquakes?
- Large earthquakes happen every
year, but not all result in high numbers of deaths and / or vast repair bills.
Why is this?
- After an earthquake, the Emergency
Services often face major access problems. Explain why access around an earthquake
area can become severely restricted.
- The initial shock waves can be
the cause of deaths and injuries. What other factors influence the death and
injury levels after the initial shock waves?
- What do you think are the advantages
and disadvantages of buildings made of modern materials such as re-enforced
concrete and traditional materials such as wood during and after an earthquake?
- Pick out the key points mentioned
in the account, and make notes on the event. Cover why and where it happened,
the damage it caused and the effects it had on the people living in Kobe.
These notes will be useful as the basis of a Case Study to use in the exam.
Now take a look at the eye
witness accounts of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. After reading all
the accounts produce a short newspaper article, reporting on the event, from
the point of view of the people living and working in San Francisco at the time.
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